Older adults and people with disabilities experience the adverse side effects of social isolation at a higher rate than the average American. Humans are social creatures, and plenty of those we serve are already far too familiar with the struggles of social isolation. Access to affordable, accessible transportation removes one of the many barriers to staying connected that people limited mobility options face. But transportation is only one part of a more extensive network of services that people need.
As we being to face the realities of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, we are all being encouraged to practice social distancing to help stop the spread of this disease. We’re acutely aware of the challenges that those in isolation, whether by choice or necessity, face, and we understand that this is an uncertain and stressful time. At Via, we have already seen a decline in ride requests as our riders decide to stay home. Over the past week, senior and recreation centers, adult day facilities, and public events and spaces have made the difficult decision to close or reduce hours as a precaution to help minimize the effects of this outbreak in our community. You can learn more about Via’s response here.
We have compiled a list of resources to help you and your loved ones access the services you need, and we’ve included some other ideas of how everyone can stay connected and engaged.
If you have any resources that you would like to share, we would love to hear from you! Please email your ideas and resources to email@example.com so we can add them to this list.
Assistance Program Resource List
The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment has created a list that includes resources for food assistance, rent assistance, medical assistance, emergency eviction assistance, and general assistance, and free and reduced legal services.
Grocery Delivery Services
Most grocers have added grocery pickup and delivery options to the services they provide, and various companies have also popped up to fill the need in this niche. Below are links to delivery service options for grocers popular in our service area as well as other companies that provide this service.
- King Soopers
- Walmart Grocery
- Whole Foods
- Amazon Fresh
- Thrive Market
Meal Delivery Services
Many of our clients have used services like Meals on Wheels in the past, but in recent years, meal kit delivery services have popped up around the country. Some of these services can be expensive, but it’s also a good option for those who want to spend their extra time inside trying new recipes without having to purchase all the unique ingredients upfront.
Meals On Wheels
- Adams County
- Coal Creek – Lafayette, Louisville, Erie, Superior
- Estes Park
Meal Kit Delivery Services
- Back to Basics Kitchen
- The Spicy Radish
- Hello Fresh
- Home Chef
- Green Chef
- Blue Apron
- Marley Spoon
Take Out Delivery Services
As our local economy begins to grapple with this outbreak, it’s essential to continue to support your local businesses when you can. Take out delivery services have become increasingly popular in recent years, and many restaurants that did not previously offer take out are now offering this service as a way to stay open during this crisis while also minimizing the traffic in their dining rooms. Another great way to support these businesses is to purchase a gift card!
- Longmont Take-Out Takeover – Longmont Restaurant Week may be postponed, but restaurants are still hoping to feed you!
Visit Your Doctor Virtually
Many insurance providers have a virtual option but vary greatly by the insurance provider. Please contact your insurance company directly to learn more about what options are available to you. Below are links to a few of common providers in our area.
If you have concerns specific to COVID-19, please call CO-Help at 303-389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911 or email COHELP@RMPDC.org, for answers in English and Spanish.
Mail Order Pharmacies
Similar to virtual doctor visits, many providers now offer mail order options for prescriptions. Contact your insurance company directly to learn more about what options are available to you.
Online Exercise and Meditation
For any type of exercise that you can think of, you can probably find an online class. A great place to start your search is YouTube since videos are free. Below are some popular YouTube channels for exercise, yoga, and meditation.
- Silver Sneakers
- Sit and Be Fit
- The National Institute on Aging
- Lori Michiel Fitness
- Amy VanLiew Fitness
- Yoga with Adriene
- Sarah Beth Yoga
- Headspace Guided Meditation
- Linda Hall Meditation
Pet Care Services
- Home Instead Veterinary Care – Offering quality, affordable, dedicated mobile veterinary care for the Colorado Front Range in the following communities- Boulder, Gunbarrel, Niwot, SW Longmont, Louisville, Lafayette.
- Companion Home Vet Care – Companion Home Vet Care is a veterinary house call service in Longmont that aims to provide compassionate care to pets in pain along the Colorado Front Range.
- Action Housecall Practice – Dr. Ostgaard has been operating a mobile vet – house call/mobile veterinarian practice in the Boulder – Longmont – Louisville – Lafayette area (including Boulder, Weld, and Larimer counties, towns, mountain towns, and the surrounding rural areas for over 40 years.
- The Home Vet of Boulder – Dr. Basher, the Boulder Home Vet, provides compassionate veterinary care in your own home. Trips to the hospital can be stressful for your pet, inconvenient, and time-consuming. Many procedures can be done in the comfort of your own home, with you there to comfort your animal and participate.
Pet Grooming Services
- Love Your Pet Care – A husband and wife team providing mobile dog grooming and pet care services in Longmont, Colorado.
- Mobile Pet Shine – Mobile Pet Shine is a self-contained Mobile Pet Grooming Salon and offers a convenient alternative to maintain your pet’s grooming needs.
Virtual Faith Services
Across the country, congregations are pausing weekly services to help contain this outbreak. This has led to a rise in virtual options for those who are looking to stay connected with their faith community. A simple search online will yield various options for any denomination, and we encourage you to reach out to your congregation to see if they are moving to a virtual platform.
Video Messaging Apps
As more people are encouraged to stay home, it can be hard for loved ones to stay connected. Instead of having Sunday night dinner in person, why not log in to your preferred video messaging platform to have a virtual date with your favorite people? These are a few of our favorite options.
- Facebook Messenger
- FaceTime – For iOS only
- Google Hangouts
Digital Resources from Libraries
Many libraries have already made the call to close through the end of March. However, our library systems have a plethora of digital options that are still available.
Streaming Video Services
If you’re used to accessing your favorite movies and TV shows through your local library, you may not have signed up for a streaming service. Most of these services have a free trial period that you can take advantage of, just don’t forget to cancel if you don’t want to continue using the service!
Other Virtual Entertainment
We have seen reports of many museums and cultural sites closing, and with recreational and senior centers closing, we can’t get together to play games with friends. A quick internet search will point in the right direction for digital versions of our favorite games and puzzles. Below are some other fun options to explore.
- Virtual Museum Tours – Travel + Leisure shared 12 famous museums that offer virtual tours.
- Virtual Historical Site Tours – Explore Stonehenge, the Taj Mahal, Machu Pichu, and the Acropolis of Athens
- Cincinnati Zoo Daily Live – While the Cincinnati Zoo is closed, they will be hosting a Facebook Live each weekday at 3 pm EDT where they will highlight one of their amazing animals and include an activity you can do from home.
- Virtual National Parks Tours – Google now lets you explore U.S. National Parks via 360-degree virtual tours.
- Live Virtual Concerts – NPR put together a list of live virtual concerts to watch during the coronavirus shutdown.
Ways You Can Help
- Via’s Neighbors Helping Neighbors Fund – Via has established a Helping Neighbors Fund to keep our mission services going. As many of you know, providing door-through-door, driver-assisted transportation in wheelchair-accessible vehicles is expensive. To subsidize that high cost and keep fares low, we operate under a social enterprise business. As such, we enter public transportation contracts with local government entities and apply the net revenues to our mission services.
- HelpColoradoNow.org – Get informed, donate or volunteer. Funds raised will be used to support unmet needs of communities and agencies impacted by COVID-19 in both response and recovery. The fund will support work in three categories: prevention, impact, and recovery efforts.